Denikin’s Gang

Kornilov’s successor, Anton Denikin, had served under him before the October Revolution, even supporting him in the attempted summer 1917 coup and sharing imprisonment with him.  On Kornilov’s demise, Denikin took control of the Volunteer Army.  It was initially pushed back by Soviet forces at this point, but by mid-1919 Denikin would find himself poised to launch a charge that aimed to reach Moscow itself.

The image on display shows a caricature of Denikinskaia banda – Denikin’s gang – by the Soviet poster artist Deni.  Beneath a flag which says “Beat workers and peasants”, Denikin sits in the front row, flanked by a capitalist (left) and the hyper-nationalist Vladimir Pureshkevich, with standard figures such as the overweight priest and drunken soldier behind him.  Barrels of demon drink stand on either side of the group.

From Russkii revoliutsionnyi plakat / Viacheslav Polonskii (1925)  CCA.54.27

The picture is accompanied by a “call to peasants” by the Bolshevik poet Dem’ian Bednyi (1883-1945).  In the poster’s bottom right-hand corner there is the following warning: “Anyone who tears this poster down or sticks anything on top of it is performing a counter-revolutionary act.”

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